Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A hypocrite's confession

The author of this is the world’s biggest hypocrite and is the best person to write on the topic. defines hypocrisy as “the condition of a person pretending to be something he is not, especially in the area of morals or religion; a false presentation of belief or feeling. — hypocrite, n. — hypocritic, hypocritical, adj.”

Have you seen a hypocrite? You may have. He is like any normal person. Like you or me or any other person you see on the road. Basically, he is me. I am a hypocrite.

But why am I a hypocrite? There can be many reasons. One would be I am what I am, but I don’t want to project that. So I say that and do the opposite. I might be a man of “ideals” but don’t follow those ideals.

I am like the politicians you see on the Telly. I’m against liquor consumption. I might not consume liquor myself, but when my friends do so, I do not stop them. But I still party with them. I’m up there for women’s rights but when it comes to my own relationship, I’m still a male chauvinist.  I fight with my girlfriend for just talking to a guy and I end up doing worse things.

So why am I a hypocrite? One reason why I would say I am is because I don’t want my friends to be like me. When I see a reflection of me in them I find it terrifying. I find that they are slowly becoming like me or worse, worse than me. Example would be a male friend of mine. If he gets somebody else’s mobile in his hand, his first action would be to read their inbox. I scold him for doing so, asking him to respect that person’s privacy. But then he finds me doing the same, and asks how come I am doing the same. My only answer is “I can do whatever I want”. In reality, I can’t agree to the fact I am like that.

Another reason would be that everyone sees only the mask I’m wearing over the real me. I wouldn’t want to anyone to know the kind of person I am. I may be very decent in front of you, acting all respectable and nice, but on the inside I’m a pervert and an arrogant guy who you can hate before you can say “he is a hypocrite”.

But am I the only hypocrite in the world? I may be the biggest, but I am not the only one. Everyone wears a mask of deception and hypocrisy. No one is perfect, but I am the most imperfect of them all.

I am a hypocrite and I’m not proud of it

Oh! Time’s up. It’s time for my hypocritical activities.


What is cinema?

Cinema is writing of images with light and sound. It’s all about framing and lighting. As the great director Martin Scorsese said, “Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out”

Cinema is a worldwide phenomenon which showcases realistic stories, but also stories that can never happen in reallife (AVATAR and LIFE OF PI). Cinema is a social experience as it has an important role to play in the society.  We socialize with so many people around us, it is always good to talk to each other, to listen and to understand where we stand in the world .Showing us the world is what cinema is doing right now and it is the best medium for doing so. Cinema today not only relays on entertainment but it constantly emphasises the message that things are wonderful the way they are.  There is another kind of cinema apart from mainstream cinema called offbeat or parallel cinema, which always carries a social message or some key element or point to think over and coveys that the change is possible and necessary and it's up to us to think about it,and do something.

Cinema is a pleasure and always reduces our pressure. Watching cinema is something every individual likes to do. We can relate to many movies bur we never completely accept it. Cinema is more like an aesthetic art which is recalled and relished!

Indian cinema is really tough to define. Cinema is the most democratic and secular industry in India where the most educated and the least literate work together as a team (from director to light boy). Indian Film Industry is one of the largest in the world and it brings a lot of revenue to our our cinema has emerged to such an extent that a new market and section of cinema called “Diaspora” has materialized. Cinema in India has become a part of academics because students study films and make films which represent their perception and visualization.

Cinema as an industry in India provides direct and indirect employment to the millions of people. Even though it is a gamble, our country’s passion towards cinema makes it simple and creates history and brings crores of pennies to the makers.  It provides entertainment to millions of people in today’s stressful times.  It has the power to influence the society and its beliefs. Cinema has become part and parcel of our lives as we get influenced by films and we do act filmy sometimes. We feel, think, react, relate and rejoice cinema.  The best medium which can reach the masses successfully and effectively is cinema!

In filmy words: “Cinema in India is like brushing your teeth in the morning. You can't escape it.”
----Bollywood King Khan Shahrukh.

Here are some most memorable dialogues of Bollywood let’s remember and give a tribute to Indian Cinema:
Now, it is hard to list every memorable movie quote.  So, let's take a look at some of the most memorable...

1) "Kitne Aadmi The", "Aree o Samba" "Basanti, In Kutto Ke Samne Mat Naachna" & hell more from Sholay
2) "Yeaii Raju Shyam Bol raha hain Ek Dusre Ka Naam nehi Lene Ko"from Hera Pheri
3) "Mogambo khush Hua" from Mr.India
4) "Babumashai" from Anand
5) "Main Goga Hu Goga aankhen nikalke gotik helta hoon " from Andaz Apna Apna
6) "Don ka intezaar to baara mulko ki police kar rahi hai. Lekin Don ko pakadna muskhil he nahi, namumkin hai" from Don
7) "Pura naam-Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, baap ka naam, Dinanath Chauhan, maa ka naam-Suhasini Chauhan, gaon- Mandwa, umar chhattis saal" from Agneepath
8. "Yeh tumhare baap ka ghar nahin, police station hain, isiliye sidhi tarah khade raho" from Zanjeer
9) "K.. K… K….K…..Kiran" from Darr
10) "Mere paas paisa hai, bangle hai, gaadi hai, Tumhare Paas Kya Hain?? Mere paas Maa hain" from Deewar


Beginner’s Guide: Memory Cards


Today, almost all of us are using a smartphone, a digital camera, camcorder, etc. Hence, we are also getting memory cards for the same. But just like you see the processor, screen quality, RAM and what not about the device you are buying, ever wondered what is it that you need to check about your memory card?

In this article we will be talking about theory related to memory cards, what to check before buying and what is the right choice for your device.

Memory Card: A memory card (or a flash card) is an electronic flash memory (can be electrically programmed and retains data without power) data storage device used for storing digital information. They are commonly used in many electronic devices, including digital cameras, mobile phones, laptop computers, MP3 players and video game consoles.

SD Cards: Secure Digital or (SD) is a non-volatile memory card format for use in portable devices.

The Secure Digital standard is maintained by the SD Card Association (SDA). This technology has been spread widely and has been implemented in more than 400 brands across dozens of product categories and more than 8,000 models.

What’s the role of the SD Card Association (SDA)?

We are already aware of the compatibility issues we face in the tech world. The same happens with SD Cards due to the change in the technology (for the better). To notify buyers, the SDA uses several trademarked logos to enforce compliance with its specifications and assure users of compatibility. To know more about compatibility, we proceed further with more info (ah, tired?)

The SD format includes four card families in three form factors. The form factors are on the basis of the size of the cards – which are the original size, the ‘mini’ size, and the ‘micro’ size cards. The 4 families are the original Standard Capacity (SDSC) (1 MB to 2 GB, some 4 GB), the High Capacity (SDHC) (4 GB to 32 GB), the eXtended Capacity (SDXC) (32 GB to 2 TB), and the SDIO (input/output function with data storage).

Also, electrically passive adapters allow the use of a smaller card in a host device built to hold a larger card. Similarly, newer devices accept the older SD card models in contrast to the older ones which do not recognize newer cards.

Hence, the factors that are responsible for the prevention of use of a newer SD Card concluded are:

1. A newer card may offer greater capacity than the device can handle

2. A newer card may use a file system the host device cannot navigate

3. The host device is not designed according to the input/output which is provided by the SDIO card
4. The card family was changed (SD to SDHC or higher)

The above image shows different SD Cards on the basis of their sizes. The one you use for your phone is the microSD card (right).

Now, it’s time to end this section of the post. Quite boring I know it must have been for some, but for those who want to read more on this, visit:, which is also the source of content for this section. I must say, it was one of the best reads on Wikipedia ever.


This is probably what you are looking for in this article. Without wasting much of your time, the following is what you need to check before buying your SD Card:

1. Class of SD Card - The SD Association defines standard speed classes indicating minimum performance to record video. Both read and write speeds must exceed the specified value. In simple words, the class of an SD card defines the speed of the memory card. Which is an easy estimation used widely as – Class 2 will give minimum 2 MBps write, Class 4 will give 4 MBps write & so on.

SD card’s speed is measured on the basis of – the time take to read and write information to the card. In applications that require continuous write throughout, such as video recording, the device might not perform well if the card’s class rating falls below the required rating. For example, a camcorder built for a Class 6 card may suffer dropouts or corrupted video if a slower card is used.
The speeds are defined in terms of video recording as following:

i) Class 2 for SD video recording

ii) Class 4 and 6 for HD – Full HD video recording

iii) Class 10 for Full HD video recording and HD still consecutive recording
iv) UHS Speed Class 1 for real-time broadcasts and large-size HD videos

Till now, we have been talking about the theoretical part. The question which must be going on in your mind is – what’s the right one for your device? Imagine this scenario – if you just buy a class 10 card and use it with a low end phone (say Samsung Galaxy Y), you won’t get the speeds defined as those phones cannot handle these speeds.

Also if you buy a high end phone (say Samsung Galaxy S III, Motorola RAZR) and use a class 2 card, most of your HD videos almost stutter to death, not to mention the experience while recording in HD.

An easy suggestion: Class 4 is the best for phones; Class 6 is better suited for high end phones.

2. Your Needs: This is not related to tech but something you should take care of before buying. The high speeds cards are expensive and only buy them if you are interested in doing activities that demand that high speed. It’s always better to spend only on your needs and requirements.
3. Warranty: SD cards are at times likely to be corrupted. It is suggested that you try the card in the shop itself and buy cards only from the leading brands. (SanDisk, Sony, Samsung are a few to name). Buying cards online is not recommended.


So, if you see a lower priced card of the same storage compared to the other, make sure you check the specs as that price might be keeping you in the dark. Time to say ‘bye’ friends; hopefully you would be now less doubtful on your buy. Still, if you have any confusion regarding your device, card, etc., feel free to start a discussion in our Facebook community

or mail us at /

- Farhan Hussain

Mushrooms, whenever you want them

Nature always has its own time to give all its providence to us. But science went a step ahead and proved that we can get anything at anytime, if we plan. Ms. Pyari, a young lady from an ordinary middle class family  proves this by her own effort of cultivating mushroom at home. 

It is a well-known fact that only during the rainy season we can get mushroom, it would definitely surprise you if you get a well-prepared mushroom curry in the hot summer day. That was what happened to me when I encountered her in a remote area of the new state Jharkhand in India. It was an inspiring work that she is involved in. She is the pioneer of the new business in that area and now there are more than hundred people involved in the same.

Ms. Pyari started the cultivation just as an hobby. But later the situation led her to change her hobby into a leading business. She says, about her hobby, “I am doing this because I do not want to waste time and being idle is not good for both mind and body. This, I would not call an exercise, it’s more like my pastime and it produces very good food for us.”

Since Pyari made her hobby into a business, she earns more than thirty thousand per month. Though she is doing business out of this new and rare cultivation, she still maintains her humbleness and relates with people in a simple and joyful manner. This character of Pyari helped her to teach the new technique to the villagers. Thus there are more than 200 families benefiting from cultivating mushroom.

Though the internet provides with enough information about cultivating mushroom with many modern technologies, Pyari gives an easier way out. She said, “I learned this from one of my friends. She did not charge me for anything and that is why I teach the villagers for free. Every day I go to different houses and practically teach them how to grow mushrooms. I am happy to share with the world the way I prosper.”

Since there are less facilities in the village for chemicals, they use all the available things like paddy straw and hot water.  As per the rule, the paddy straw has to be boiled well in hot water. This is done in order to sterilize the straw. Mushroom is fragile in nature and can be easily spoilt. There is a long complicated process which is followed in order to keep them safe. After 21-23 days the seeds sprout out tearing the wall of the bags. Once it is out, they have to be watered at least three times a day. Healthy mushrooms are thus grown in the village. Pyari, along with the village, is truly a inspiration to us all.


Data cards or Wireless Network?

Is switching to internet Modems (data cards) good or bad? Or is it still the old fashioned wireless network which is occupied in connecting to internet and the consumers? Well, whatever it is these network industries have grown along with the technology.

Wireless networks are computer networks which avoid installing cables into buildings or connections with various equipments. They are connected using radio communication which is easy and has no issues in getting connected easily. It’s a very fast process and very friendly with home network.  Wireless network is widely used in offices, colleges and schools of late.

Modems are devices that modulate a signal to encode digital information.  Modems can be used over many ways of transmitting analogue signals from light to radio signals. Over the years, people have accessed to internet modems as they are portable, weightless, fast browsing and cost- reasonable when compared to a wireless network.  They are generally classified by the amount of data that can be sent in a given unit of time. And most of us relay on them to provide customer satisfaction and security which is not honourably present in wireless network. Internet modems provide customer service 24*7 and security.

“Main reason of getting access to them is because they are cost reliable and they come with a good quality and customer support,” said Archana Iyer, a student. She further adds that she has switched over to internet modems since two years; they work great and give her better satisfaction in browsing.

Wireless networking is a little more complicated when compare to modem networking. In wireless networking consumers need to undergo lot of process and costs is not friendly with everyone which is possible with modems. Looking at rate of usage which people get with modems, in present network companies started to manage service with both wireless and modems.

The availability of these networking devices is reachable when compared to wireless. And there are various ranges in these modems. “Wireless network is what I get accessed when I am working at home but then I always have a deadline of working with wireless LAN  as they cost a lot,” said Sushma, She even says that she prefers carrying a modem to work on net than collecting all work and sorting it out in home with fear with wireless network.

Bottom line: With the introduction of these modems that are loaded speed, easily portability and as their objectives they have been people’s choice when it comes to internet network.


Monday, 18 February 2013

The land that bears a treasure worth 1 Lakh Crore

Thiruvananthapuram is the land of Sree Anantha Padmanabahan, where he rests on Adi Shesha. I was on my way to this great city and I was really excited. As I entered Venad express to go to meet my cousins in Trivandrum I didn’t know what to expect there. My cousins were waiting for me on the platform and I was happy to see them.

The next day we ventured out to the city and visited the land mark of Thiruvananthapuram after which the city’s name was derived.  Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple is the richest temple in the world. I don’t think any corporate company is this rich. The temple looked magnificent from outside.  Even the Padmatheertha Kulam outside it looked beautiful.  My heart ached to enter this magnificent structure and view the temple in all its splendour about which I had only heard of.

My next visit was to Beemapally, which is a pilgrim centre for Muslims.  The mosque is known for its Urus (an annual festival). This temple is a shrine of Beema Beevi who is believed to be a family member of Prophet Mohammed.

Later that day we went to visit Shankumugham beach which was close to the mosque. Located close to the beach were the iconic Indian Coffee House and the famous nude statue of a “Jalakanyaka” by famed sculptor KanayiKunjiraman. It caught our attention as the sculpture was an exquisite work of art.

Next day we visited one of the hottest tourist spots in Kerala-Kovalam beach. It is situated around 15km from the city. The shops that line the streets to the beach sell mostly trinkets that are of interest to tourists. The beach was filled mostly with foreigners out to get a tan. A short distance from the main beach is the red and white striped light house which is a landmark of the shore line of Kovalam Beach.

My trip to Thiruvananthapuram was a rejuvenating one. One must visit this beautiful city as it is a very enriching experience.


A Kite in fright

Wednesday, January 16 was probably one of the most horrifying days for the Pariah Kite that was flying through the hostel block of St Joseph’s College.

Unaware of the thin ‘manja’ that crossed its path, the kite flew right into it. Its right wing got entangled in the string. The bird struggled for minutes but was not able to free itself.  Stuck nearly 9 feet above the ground, it caught the attention of the passing students and staff members.

In an attempt to free the helpless bird, one of the staff members used a stick and began hitting the ‘manja’. This only worsened the condition of the entangled bird, who was now too exhausted to make an effort to release itself.


Photos Courtesy: (Left); (Right)

Environment journalist and part time lecturer, Marianne De Nazareth was a witness to the scene, among many others. Terrified by the plight of the bird and the man’s unsuccessful attempts, she said “There’s no use hitting it, someone needs to cut the string.” One of the students residing in the hostel took her suggestion, immediately got a scissors and cut the ‘manja’.

The still entangled bird fell to the ground and lay there almost dead. A group of students surrounded the bird. While a few took pictures of the helpless creature, the staff members tried to untie the ‘manja’ that was caught around the kite’s wing. The staff member pulled the ‘manja’ so hard that it almost damaged the wing. Finally, the bird was taken away and given water to drink. The kite regained its energy and took flight after a while.

Photo Credit: Sathish Rajan M

The whole scenario was a shocker to many of the onlookers. How often do you see a kite stuck in a ‘manja’? It’s truly a rare sight, as it is said that the vision of these birds are extremely sharp and accurate. At any other normal instance, the bird would have dodged the string.

However, if you ever come across a bird stuck on a string or a wire, the best thing to do, is to handle the situation daintily. After all, their wings are equivalent to our limbs; a small mistake would disable them for life.


An evening that brought together traditions of Pilerne and Campsite thrills

The rain tree hall at Catholic Club on January 11 was abuzz with activity and infectious excitement as it was the day of not one but two book launches held by I-Browse, written by two very special authors.

“It took me around 11 months to write it,” said a visibly excited yet fairly composed 12-year old author Vindhya Vishwanath, introducing her novel-‘Campsite Creeps’ at the book launch. Having a fully-fledged novel to her credit whilst children of her age barely have any literary pursuits at all, Vindhya flashes her gleeful smile before confessing to have been a voracious reader who has read as many as 500 books, before churning a book of her own.

Marianne and Vindhya at the launch

“It is for us parents to encourage them toward reading and throw open the world of joy that books offer,” said Vishwanath, Vindhya’s father, adding that his initial efforts of making Vindhya take to reading have led her to this laudable accomplishment today. The little author then went on to speak about her initial manuscript that was handwritten and the ups and downs that it faced en route to publishing, before reading out some enrapturing passages from her novel. An adventure thriller revolving around the exciting experiences of 5 children and 2 pet dogs on a camp, the book is for all those who have themselves enjoyed the outdoors.

This was followed by the much awaited part of the evening, the launch of Marianne De Nazareth’s second book and first novel-‘Above the rice fields of Pilerne’. Very well known for her far-stretching career as a journalist, the creative story-teller in her comes alive through this compelling read that revolves around three generations of a Goan household in Pilerne, a tiny village that boasts of acres of rich rice fields that exist even today.  A must read for all those who cherish old traditions and warm family ties and those with Goan roots would enjoy the book even more.

Marianne receiving the bouquet of flowers

Talking of his wife’s impeccable literary prowess and an equally endearing sense of empathy that never putsdown another, Gregory De Nazareth said, “She will always go on to enrich, educate and entertain us with her resourceful writing. But she is even better a human, always keen on upholding peoples’ positives and helping them get better. She is a godmother to a great deal of youngsters, not only inspiring them, but also helping them carve a niche for themselves.” He went on to narrate interesting anecdotes of the Furtados in Pilerne and spoke of some lesser known Goan traditions that the book revolves around.

Marianne then took over; reading a fascinating passage from the book that elaborately narrated the feast of St. Baptist, a celebrated occasion in Pilerne. It was a glimpse enough to entice us all into the story. Questions followed and she went on to explain that though the book is largely fictional, gathering impetus from her fond memories of vacations in their ancestral home of Pilerne, it did find real-life inspiration as well.

As she was felicitated by fellow book lovers and the discussion continued, the evening could not get any better. The latest addition to her already in-exhaustive list of feats is this one, a splendid book launch of her own whilst giving wings to the dreams of a 12-year old.


Clothes do not cause rape

Indian men, in a creative move wore skirts to bring a halt to the country’s rape culture. An initiative by Aditya Mallya, a Bangalore based professional and the brains behind the ‘Skirt the issue campaign” organised at Cubbon Park, Bengaluru.

Though rapes were considered an age old crime, the bottled up anger was vented by Indians after the rape that led to the death of Jyoti Singh Pandey also known as “Nirbhaya”.  This tragic event that occurred on December 16 in Delhi triggered a lot of responses from people across the country.

Photo Courtesy:  Samarpita Samaddar

With a lot of protests happening, the men in Bengaluru decided to join the act in their own unique way by “Skirting the issue”. Though it was not a rally or protest, it had one simple message to the politicians’ comments that a piece of cloth does not cause a rape.

This thought of skirting was the initiative of Aditya Mallya, a Bangalore based professional and Samarpita Samaddar, co-founder of this creative form of expression.The walk also spread the message that blaming a woman for being raped is dreadful.

“It’s a different way of spreading the message, a way that grabbed attention and also told the conservative politicians that they need to be more broad minded. It is a creative way of protesting.” says Johnson Raj Kumar, a media activist and a faculty at Dept. of Visual Communication, St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru.

In an ingenious way, this idea of skirting the issue is an eye opener for all the narrow minded politicians to think twice before making a comment.


“Easy answers: God’s answering,” Albert Einstein

The life of one of the world’s greatest minds was coming to an end at Princeton Hospital in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. He was assigned a special ward with a nurse to take care of him in days which would turn out to be his last days. Even if it was going to be his last hours alive, all he had with him was his notes, glasses and basic stationary. Astonished by his meticulous approach to his work, she asked him if he would ever stop working and rest. To which he answered that he would not until he finds answers to his questions. To this, she asked him that did all questions have an answer to them. Trying to defend his relentless urge for finding answers, he said, “I don’t know. But, I will keep searching answers to my questions.”

Photo Courtesy:

Giving all of us a message, he said that we should keep finding the answers to our questions because there is no reason why God would hide something from us. Adding to this and eventually making a statement that would inspire anyone, he said that as soon as we start finding answers easily, it meant that God was answering. With this, Professor Albert Einstein, regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time, left an impact on my mind. This particular statement of his made me take a pledge in life that I will never stop finding answers to what I want to know and I want to do. I always believed in the fact that God gives us what we deserve and this statement certainly made my belief stronger.

Like every one of us, I went through a set of experiences in my life that have moulded me in what I am today. At present, I have a lot to look forward to, challenges and joys alike. Considering this, I believe in Einstein’s words and pledge to keep fighting until I find answers or solutions to the problems in my life. Probably, all of us should take this up as a principle in our life and dedicate all our strength in doing something that we believe in.

As Einstein puts it, no one can be sure of the fact that he would find answers to all his questions. But it’s the quest for those answers that is more important. It’s this quest that requires persistent determination and eventually the answers would come to light. We need to give it all what we have and strive for the solutions. After all, fortunes are not written, they are made.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Comparisons are odious

      Considering Catcher in the Rye was written in '46, I guess the language and style was probably alien to that time. The constant stream of profanities, and nasty behaviour of its protagonist and his school mates have left me at pg 57 sort of reeling with the goddammits and Sonuvabitches, peppered very liberally across the pages. I need a break from the book sadly, and succour has come in the shape of a lovely little book called The Other Side of the Table by Madhumita Mukherjee.
     The courier has just come with it and I happily put down Catcher and have picked the new book up.
     The bongs can write and they have a great command of the language. I know I teach in COMMITS and the kids come mostly from Cal and phew! every piece of theirs is excellent and just grabbed up by dear old Deccan Herald. Funnily enough they hit the ground running and dont need to take time to fit into the 'I am trying to get published mode'. In a matter of weeks after my taking class with them, they are all over DH and raking in the 1k and 2k's for their pithy little fashion pieces!
     I am enjoying The Other Side of the Table and its been published by a new publishing house called Finger Print. The touch and feel and smell of the book too is just right.Anyone want to borrow it -- most welcome!

Sunday, 10 February 2013


The uglification of Bangalore seems well and complete. Our individual and collective silence has done us in

    As with all such pieces, I open with a set of bulleted incidents that happened in the heart of Bangalore. Bangalore, mind you, not Bengaluru, because the focus of this article is the quadrant of the erstwhile Cantonment area.

    A couple of young women are on MG Road around noon on a Sunday, having met for lunch. As they stroll towards their restaurant, they come across a group of young men, about their age, definitely people like them. One of them reaches out and grabs the breasts of one of the women. The feisty kind, she reacts immediately and slaps him. He hits her back. Hard. She raises her arm involuntarily and he hits her again. After which, the men walk on, without a care in the world. There is no cop anywhere around. Passers-by watch silently, avoiding the victim’s eye.
    Areas like Indiranagar have been buying water for a decade now. Complaints, written and oral, to the area water board office meet with the standard response. After every fourth visit you make, they send a man who takes a less-than-cursory look at the water meter/ lever and pronounces with sagacity that there is an air leak / that you were stupid enough to build your house on a higher elevation so naturally the water flow has stopped/ your water pipes all need replacing and so on and so forth. Everything but the words that you so desperately want to hear: that this afternoon, for an hour or so, they will open the valves and let some water flow into your sump. Sometimes the man tells you that, too. You wait all afternoon and evening but not a drop falls. So you buy water and factor that into your household expenses. Come summer, the water mafia kicks into operation, so you end up paying double the rate virtually overnight.

    Overnight, speed breakers come up on almost every street in your locality. A close look will reveal even to the untrained eye, that these DIY speed breakers are citizen’s initiatives, sharp-edged mounds created just to have motorists avoid your lane and take the next one.

    The SUV cab (it almost always is a cab) brushes against a BMW and the owners get out. Except, one gets out with a car jack. It’s pretty clear how he intends to settle the matter. Other motorists avert their eyes and wait for the light to change so they can speed away.

    As for our so-called leaders, their brazen and unscrupulous behaviour happens for just one primary reason: we have allowed it to happen. We have allowed them to treat the Vidhana Soudha like they would their dens at home, to watch porn in all comfort and ease. We have allowed them to let all development slow to a creaking pace. We have allowed them to keep offering largesse to temples while we go without our basic necessities. We have sanctioned all of it.

    Rowdyism is percolating, infiltrating into the body civic, the body politic, up, down, sideways, everywhere. Cardholding rowdies hack each other in busy marketplaces. The men in black coats, our saviours in the courts, frequently lose their cool and pick up stones. Men empty mouthfuls of paanlaced spittle on to young women walking down quiet roads. A couple of expat women I know gave up walking in the park after they noticed young men sitting on stone benches and taking their photographs on their mobile phones.

    Garden City to Garbage City, the transformation, the degradation, has been relentless. Today most of our streets are dotted with litter, sometimes a huge stinking pile just beneath a notice on the wall that says ‘Do not dump garbage here.’ We used to have sturdy iron bins at street corners but someone decided to do away with them. We didn’t protest…did we even notice…and so they vanished. In their place came the intermittent garbage men and women. They were supposed to pick up the neatly segregated garbage you left outside your gate. Except, they don’t come more than twice a week.

    The Garbage City (and it pains me, as someone who has ‘belonged to’ Bangalore for almost three decades now) has an alter ego, that of Construction City. In most areas, there is endless construction activity going on, iron rods and heaps of sand, bags of cement encroaching on road space. There is a fine haze of cement and sand dust hovering in the air everywhere. Cement mixers and heavy-duty vehicles manoeuvre their way onto small streets. Mall upon mall comes up and no one talks of mall fatigue. Exclusive luxe apartments offer a swimming pool with each flat, and no one talks of the nearnil water tables in the area. This is zombified building. No prizes for guessing who the zombies are.

    Forget the aam admi, we have had our captains of industry gently and not so gently pointing out that good roads are not a luxury but a basic necessity for any growing city. Their words too, have fallen into the Bermuda triangle of indifference, negligence and contempt.

    This Bangalorean silence is selective silence. We yell when someone hits our vehicle. We fight with our neighbours on points of encroachment. The more evolved and caring of us protest when trees are mercilessly and unnecessarily cut down. We protest at senseless murders, the withdrawal of our essential rights. But these protests happen in spurts. So those who are smarter than us wait for the protests to die down. After which, it’s back to business as usual for them.

    As with all cities that start to bulge at the seams accommodating ‘outsiders’ and becoming what the labelers like to call a ‘melting pot culture,’ something vital is lost in the transformation. In Bangalore, the list of things lost is a long one. Quiet roads, a quiet people, bicycles, Momand- Pop stores. The shade of many-branched trees down avenue after avenue. A certain innocence which let young men and women do their own things without always being on the lookout for attack. A disinclination to pull a number on your neighbour, a strong inclination to live and let live.

    Have we frittered our assets away in this hitherto lovely city of ours? Can we take back the city? I wonder.

Our silence is selective; we protest only when it affects us directly